Water from the Moon—poems by Mahnaz Badihian

A beggar boy on the streets of Tehran
Mahnaz Badihian
Oil on canvas 37” x 25”

Lunar Water

From now on I'll only drink
water from the moon 
never again a sip of earthly waters,
not from bloody water of the Euphrates
with thousands of broken bodies
floating on it 
Not from the Ganges River 
with hundreds of hungry
worshipers around it 
I'll fill my fists with
water from the moon,
to pour it drop by drop
into the mouth of the innocent
Zayandeh Roud river
 in the city of Isfahan
 Poplar trees are thirsty.
              * Zayandeh Roud — a famous river in Iran

They killed My Brother

For Lorca & Sultanpur

They killed my brother
The year of revolution
because he had different ideas
They killed him
the year of the war
because he was in love
They killed him again year after the revolution
because he was aware
They killed my brother
on the streets of poverty and homelessness
And they killed my sister youtaab
under the feet of demon men
because she was a Brave Beauty  
They killed my brother
they broke his heart
they cut his tongue
and choked him
They fed him bag after bag of Heroin
so he forgets about home.
They killed my brother again
and spoke of the dignity of his homeland
Again they killed my brother
in freedom square
and they sprayed him with bullets in the public eye
But my brother is not dead yet
and they don't understand
the reason he will be 
in love forever
he will be aware forever
and will protest forever

              * Youtaab — a female fighter and hero, in Persian history. 

Lost In Ruins Of Baalbek

Milk dripping from their breast
tears dripping from their eyes
infants ripped from their arms
to be placed in immigration cages
Maybe that is why I felt lost
in the ruins of Baalbek
looking for lessons from history
between those glorious ancient
broken statues
talking to Bacchus, the god of wine
Or hiding in Pompeii a burnt city
searching for a new poem or art
to treat my sorrows
or wondering in the calm Bazaar of Isfahan
that welcomes everyone to the
ecstasy of culture, art, and simplicity
But I know I was lost imagining myself
in the camps between devastating pain
of the wailing immigrant kids
taken from their parents
I was lost imagining their scared eyes
in those cages, confused
not knowing what was their crime
The shock and anger of those children
seeping through my heart
I will be lost in the darkness of this crime
which adds up to the ugly face of slavery

©2020 Mahnaz Badihian
All rights reserved

Mahnaz Badihian‘s artistic expression started at a young age in elementary school by writing poetry and short stories and painting with whatever material was available to her. Life took her through many different experiences such as Nursing school, Dental school, art school, revolution, immigration, and motherhood, but she always remained a poet and artist. She has published many poems and translation books in the Persian language, and English. Badihian has been exhibiting her art internationally for decades, most recently with a solo exhibition in 2018 in San Francisco, California. For 15 years now, her life has solely been dedicated to art and literature. Badihian and Jack Hirschman worked on a translation book and a CD. Her latest collection of poems “Raven of Isfahan,” was published in 2019, to critical acclaim. Badihian finished her MFA in Poetry in 2007 from Pacific U in Oregon. Her poems appeared in more than ten international anthologists. In 2020 Badihian edited and published 300 pages of COVID poetry and art from around the world. Available worldwide.


The focus of "The BeZine," a publication of The Bardo Group Beguines, is on sacred space (common ground) as it is expressed through the arts. Our work covers a range of topics: spirituality, life, death, personal experience, culture, current events, history, art, and photography and film. We share work here that is representative of universal human values however differently they might be expressed in our varied religions and cultures. We feel that our art and our Internet-facilitated social connection offer a means to see one another in our simple humanity, as brothers and sisters, and not as “other.” This is a space where we hope you’ll delight in learning how much you have in common with “other” peoples. We hope that your visits here will help you to love (respect) not fear. For more see our Info/Mission Statement Page.

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